What circumstances allow covering responsible clinicians to attend Mental Health Review Tribunals and Mental Health Act Manager Reviews?

What do the Regulations say about Responsible Clinicians being covered by another doctor who has not signed the H5 or M2? Is this now an accepted practice?

Rosemary Moore
A Nearest Relative under the 1983 Mental Health Act

I haven’t checked whether it is the latest version, but RCPsych and Tribunals Judiciary, ‘Guidance for Detaining Authorities and Tribunal Panels about medical evidence for First Tier Tribunal - mental health’ (June 2015) has information under the heading “4.0 Experience required to give oral evidence at a tribunal hearing”.

Edit: I think this is the current version: RCPsych and Tribunals Judiciary, ‘Guidance for Detaining Authorities and Tribunal Panels about medical evidence for First Tier Tribunal - mental health’ (April 2019).

I think the completion of both Form H5 and M2 would result in a Hospital Managers hearing in the first instance and therefore would not be covered by the Tribunal Judiciary guidance. My understanding is that there may be a number of reasons why the Responsible Clinician who completed the form may not be available; such as planned or unplanned leave, or moving on from one post to another. Who the RC is, is a matter of fact at the time.

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Thank you Jonathan and Rand for your replies to my question about RCs at MHMRs and MHRTs.
Jonathan - I cannot see anything in the Regulations about an RC being covered by a doctor who is not the RC at either Hospital Manager or Tribunal hearings,
I think that the law requires the RC who is named on the original section papers or signs the H5 renewing the detention or the M2 barring an NR application - should attend hearings and speak to the RC Report submitted to the HMs or MH Tribunal panel.
What I am asking is whether it is accepted practice for the RC to be replaced at these hearings which is what I have experienced and wonder how widespread this is.
Rand - You say that Forms H5 and M2 trigger Hospital Manager Reviews but these hearings are not covered by MHRT regulations. In fact there is NO legal requirement for Managers to Review renewals of detention or barring orders. Hospital Managers do have the power to discharge patients from detention but only if the patient requests a hearing or the authority decides to have a hearing.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Paper reviews and uncontested renewals

I don’t believe that there’s any requirement for a Responsible Clinician to personally give evidence and in fact, if you read the general note on p873 of Jones it indicates that evidence need not be from the RC and the primary focus is in fact on the evidence being up to date.

Ultimately it’s for the detaining authority to choose who their witnesses are

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There are at least two relevant scenarios – the RC changing over time, temporarily or permanently, and the RC sending someone else to give evidence – and I think neither is forbidden.

The guidance I mentioned above discusses situations in which a more junior doctor might give evidence at the tribunal. I imagine that at least some individual hospitals have similar policies for their hospital managers’ hearings.

This is almost right but (as it’s a different topic really) I’ve tried to answer it at Paper reviews and uncontested renewals - #4 by Jonathan